The Arrival of the Giants: The Epic Flight of HMA Old Carthusian to Malta in 1918

Luqa, Hal Far, Ta’Qali- these names have become synonymous with the story of Maltese aviation, indeed with the histories of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, not least because of their connection with the Second World War. However, it is very rarely realised that the first stretch of land in Malta to serve for the normal landing and take off of aircraft was in fact the Marsa Sports Ground, a relatively large, flat, and grassy land situated at the southwestern end of the Grand Harbour and which everybody referred to as “The Marsa.”

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The First Known Flight in Malta

At 1:00 pm on Friday, February 12, 1915, three seaplanes were hoisted onto the flying deck of the HMS Ark Royal, the first seaplane carrier to visit Malta. Few hours later, one of these seaplanes, a Short Folder Type 135, marked a historic moment in the island’s aviation history.

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